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The 5 Stages of Culture Shock

Five Stages of Culture Shock:

  1. The Honeymoon Stage is being curios and positive about new exciting experiences. People who are in this stage admire and even idealize the new culture.
  2. Hostility and Irritability Stage is starting to feel different and actually inferior. The new host culture is confusing or the new systems into which exposed are frustrating and it causes to blaming the host culture for your confusion and frustration instead of adaptation the process.
  3. Gradual Adjustment Stage is feeling more relaxed and balanced. You try to develop a more receptive, tolerant and objective point of view about your new cultural experience.
  4. Biculturalism and Adaptation Stage is a feeling belonging and having sympathy to the new host culture.
  5. Re-Entry Shock Stage is turning back to home culture and not finding what you left and what you hope because you are different from the previous when you left home.

How fast you can move through and overcome these stages changes according to how familiar you are with culture and language of the host country.

Archer uses “culture bump” term for culture shock situation and he remarks that culture bump happens when an individual feels strange and uncomfortable while interacting with people in a much different cultural surrounding. It results from the different behaving styles of the host people in a particular situation.

If the language learners learn enough about people and the culture of their new environment in advance, they will suffer less and not be shocked because of the differences about language, traditions, climate, temperature, food, religion, social life, people and other cultural factors in their new host country. These differences can be bad, good or just unlike but learning as much as about the new culture will help to overcome culture shock slightly and painless.

Taking culture based language education will help to minimize culture shock. It also helps to be open-minded, tolerant to different cultures, empathize, develop sense of humor, building friendships easily.

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